Narrative Lecture 21.09.2010 - Documentary: Lost In La Mancha, 2002, Louis Pepe & Keith Fulton.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Lost in La Mancha is a documentary film about Terry Gilliam's failed first attempt to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a film adaptation of the novel Don Quixote.

As a film project, Quixote already seemed to be cursed. Orson Welles started shooting a version in 1957 and sweated over it for two decades; his star Francisco Reiguera died before the project could be completed.

First of all, the documentary tells how important film management is. In my opinion, Terry Gilliam has a huge lack of organization skills and ability to clearly appraise his possibilities and desires. His actions and behavior was chaotic as his project itself. He had his own vision of his project, which the crew could barely understand. As one of Gilliam’s crew says “I think he’s a little bit the Quixote [himself], who sees things other humans cannot see.”

I think, if you are visualizer you must explain your visions in understandable form for your crew, otherwise you will not get a result. Organization is the key for the every project, there must be coordinator who will lead the group, [not dominate, but lead (!).]

Secondly, there will be always some unpredictable situations. I don’t know actually is it possible to foretold those things which happened in Terry Gilliam’s project. The first outdoor location turns out to be next to a NATO bombing range. A downpour and hailstorm wash away the set in a flash flood on day 2 of shooting. The 70-year-old French actor Jean Rochefort develops ailments both psychosomatic and real. Moreover, after a couple of days he received a message that there are will be no funds for his movie. THE END – Project was closed.

As Terry Gilliam mentioned that some things which were born in your head should stay there.

Finally, from the very beginning this film is a good help for me and us. I’m glad that we had an opportunity to see it. I’ve learnt from this documentary that organization, time management, collaboration and communicate your ideas it’s very important thing. Moreover, we must always consider that thing that something can always go wrong and we could quickly operate in that situation. And most important is to find the golden mean between desires and facilities.

I think every young director must see this film.


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